The walls we build

A good friend of mine had a falling out with her sister a number of years ago. Her sister dealt with it by ghosting my friend. Finally my friend decided to reach out explicitly to reconcile – after all, they were both getting older, and she didn’t want this difference to follow them to their graves. She wrote her sister, admitted she didn’t handle the difference well, that they’d both made mistakes, inviting her sister to reconcile. The result was sadly typical: her sister continued to ghost her.

Oh, the sister would send a Happy Christmas email annually, but that was about it. Whenever my friend gave her a call, the conversation was short and void of heart. That was that!

This kind of split happens more often than you might think: unbreakable walls are erected between friends or family because of a disagreement that ends in accusations and bad feelings.

The wall builds and thickens to the point of impenetrability, each side blaming the other side entirely. But it’s rarely like that – one person totally in the wrong and the other person completely blameless. More often than not, it’s between 2 people who have grown up together, who know each other intimately. And, who also have a load of unfinished business with each other that results in the final break. The break is the ultimate avoidance tactic. It gives each the illusion that there is no unfinished business. That is, until something comes up that reminds them of it. But after a few seconds of feeling that old familiar pain, they manage to put it back into their internal black box and carry on with their day.

My friend’s familial pain is a tiny example of the bigger world family. In the United States, as one example, friends and families are torn apart and polarized from the political atmosphere currently in America, unable to see one another as anything but enemies.

Fortunately for my friend, she and her sister reconciled. They were finally able to admit their parts and rebuild as a family.

Would that our world family could do the same.

Quote of the Week

Our fear of others only ends when we bring them in from the terrifying darkness to our fireside and share our bread and companionship with them. Then, and only then, may we find the light together.
― Stewart Stafford

 

Worlds apart – by Heineken

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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne